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Seroepidemiological survey of Leishmania infantum infection in dogs from northeastern Portugal

Sousa, Susana, Lopes, Ana Patricia, Cardoso, Luís, Silvestre, Ricardo, Schallig, Henk, Reed, Steven G., Cordeiro da Silva, Anabela
Acta tropica 2011 v.120 no.1-2 pp. 82-87
serological surveys, blood serum, antigens, seroprevalence, dogs, agglutination tests, risk factors, leishmaniasis, Leishmania infantum, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, odds ratio, regression analysis, Toxoplasma gondii, habitats, adults, Portugal
Northeastern Portugal is a region where canine leishmaniasis (CanL) is endemic. In this study, a sero-epidemiological survey was conducted in 654 dogs from that geographical area. Serum samples were evaluated by the direct agglutination test (DAT) and also by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using five different defined antigens. Seroprevalence of infection was 21.3% based on the assumption that seropositive animals were positive for at least three tests. A high degree of agreement was found between DAT and LAM-ELISA (89%; kappa value [κ]=0.67). A statistically significant difference (p<0.05) of seropositivity was found between adult (23.4%) and juvenile dogs (12.2%), apparently healthy (14.8%) and sick dogs (40.2%), vaccinated (19.7%) and non-vaccinated (41.2%) animals, seropositive (26.9%) and seronegative (18.0%) for Toxoplasma gondii, living in rural (18.5%) or urban (32.6%) areas, and between animals living exclusively outdoors (18.2%) and those living in a mixed habitat (27.5%). Risk factors for canine Leishmania infection, as defined by multiple logistic regression analysis, were of clinical status (odds ratio [OR]=3.1) and Toxoplasma infection (OR=1.5).